- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 2, 2006

Pittsburgh mayor dies of brain cancer

PITTSBURGH — Mayor Bob O’Connor, who learned he had a rare form of brain cancer only seven months into his term, died last night, his spokesman said. He was 61.

Mr. O’Connor, hospitalized since July when he was diagnosed with four brain tumors, died shortly before 9 p.m. with family members present, said his spokesman, Dick Skrinjar. His condition deteriorated throughout the week after brain scans Monday showed seizure activity, and tests indicated his spinal fluid and an implanted drain may have been infected.

“I can’t just help but feel that this is an overwhelming tragedy for Pittsburgh,” former Mayor Sophie Masloff said. “It was too brief a time for Bob to be mayor, but in that time he demonstrated outstanding leadership.”

City Council President Luke Ravenstahl was to be sworn in as mayor late last night, Mr. Skrinjar said.

New Orleans searches for investors

NEW YORK — New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin opened a visit to New York yesterday by expressing regret for describing the World Trade Center site as “a hole in the ground.”

Mr. Nagin then began a two-day pitch to investors to support business in New Orleans, which still has an enormous rebuilding job ahead of it a year after Hurricane Katrina.

Mr. Nagin and a delegation of business and public-sector leaders were to spend yesterday and today touting city and federal tax breaks for investment, encouraging filmmakers to return to the city and seeking commercial sponsors for next year’s Mardi Gras.

Wall Street executives, representatives of the arts and tourism industries, and private investors have been invited to attend the New Orleans presentations.

Old elephant killed; companion grieves

MILWAUKEE — Lucy the elephant, thought to be the world’s fourth-oldest African elephant in captivity, was euthanized yesterday morning after staffers found her lying down in her stall, the Milwaukee County Zoo said.

The medical staff had decided that if the 46-year-old elephant was found lying down again, she would be euthanized, spokeswoman Jennifer Diliberti said.

In June, Lucy became ill and was unable to stand up in the African exhibit yard. Brittany, Lucy’s companion and the only other elephant at the zoo, was allowed in Lucy’s stall after she was euthanized so she could grieve.

Family sues Comair in Kentucky crash

LEXINGTON, Ky. — The family of a woman killed when Comair Flight 5191 took off on the wrong runway and crashed in flames sued the airline yesterday, blaming it for the nation’s deadliest airplane disaster in five years.

The lawsuit accuses Comair of negligence and says passenger Rebecca L. Adams suffered “conscious pain and suffering” when the plane went down Sunday morning and quickly burned with 49 persons still inside. The only survivor was the co-pilot, who remained hospitalized yesterday but was upgraded from critical to serious condition.

Nick Miller, a Comair spokesman, said he couldn’t comment on pending litigation.

“Comair extends its heartfelt sympathy to everyone affected by the accident, and our focus remains addressing the needs of family and loved ones,” Mr. Miller said.

Meanwhile, air traffic controllers say they have to keep track of more airplanes with fewer people as the Federal Aviation Administration tries to control costs.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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